Published on : Tuesday, September 26, 2017
The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning in Thailand has released a 20-year master plan for rail development worth more than Baht 2.7 trillion ($US 81.57bn) to boost the connectivity which can crater tourism.
The rail plan is set to be divided into three periods: a short-term plan from 2017 to 2021, followed by a medium-term plan between 2022 and 2026, and a long-term plan from 2027 to 2036. Prospective projects range from 2777km of double-track work; the construction of 2457km of standard-gauge lines for high-speed trains; network electrification; and development of intermodal rail freight terminals.
According to Mr Chayatan Phromsorn, deputy director of the OTP, who presented the plan to around 200 officials from the state, private sector, education, and the media in Bangkok on September 22, it includes the following projects: Chachoengsao – Klong Sip Kao – Kaeng Khoi; Jira – Khon Kaen; and Hua Hin -Prachuap Khiri Khan. Nam Pho-Den Chai; Sriracha-Map Ta Phut; Surat Thani-Hat Yai-Songkhla; and Hat Yai-Padang Besar. Den Chai-Chiang Rai and Klong Sip Kao-Aranyaprathet.
Mr Chayatan Phromsorn, deputy director of the OTP says the rail plan is planned to expand rail infrastructure that will make ease the establishment of special economic zones as well as improving tourism and local development.
It is also hoped that releasing a long-term vision which places rail at the center of the country’s transport infrastructure development, will boost prospective investor confidence.
It was around Baht 1.9 trillion of the rail plan’s total cost will be funded by Thailand, with the remainder expected to come from the private sector.